Remarks On The Second Lecture
BOOK II -
including an Illustration of the Lectures
illustrations of masonry
Masonry is a progressive science, and divided into different classes or
degrees, for a more regular advancement in the knowledge of its mysteries.
According to the progress we make, we limit or extend our inquiries; and, in
proportion to our capacity, we attain to a less or greater degree or perfection.
Masonry includes almost every branch of polite learning. Under the veil of
its mysteries, is comprehended a regular system of science. Many of its
illustrations may appear unimportant to the confined genius; but the man of more
enlarged faculties will consider them in the highest degree useful and
interesting. To please the accomplished scholar and ingenious artist, it is
wisely planned; and in the investigation of its latent doctrines, the
philosopher and mathematician may experience satisfaction and delight.
To exhaust the various subjects of which masonry treats, would transcend the
powers of the brightest genius; still, however, nearer approaches to perfection
may be made, and the man of wisdom will not check the progress of his abilities,
though the task he attempts may at first seem insurmountable. Perseverance and
application will remove each difficulty as it occurs; every step he advances,
new pleasures will open to his view, and instruction of the noblest kind attend
his researches. In the diligent pursuit of knowledge, great discoveries are
made, and the intellectual faculties are employed in promoting the glory of God,
and the good of man.
Such is the tendency of every illustration in masonry. Reverence for the
Deity, and gratitude for the blessings of heaven, are inculcated in every
degree. This is the plan of our system, and the result of all our inquiries.
The First Degree is intended to enforce the duties of morality, and imprint
on the memory the noblest principles which can adorn the human mind. The Second
Degree extends the fame plan, and comprehends a more diffusive system of
knowledge. Practice and theory qualify the industrious mason to share the
pleasures which an advancement in the Art necessarily affords. Listening with
attention to the wise opinions of experienced craftsmen on important subjects,
his mind is gradually familiarised to useful instruction, and he is soon enabled
to investigate truths of the utmost concern in the general transactions of life.
From this system proceeds a rational amusement; the mental powers are fully
employed, and the judgement is properly exercised. A spirit of emulation
prevails; and every one vies, who shall most excel in promoting the valuable
rules of institution.
The First Section
The First Section of the Second Degree elucidates the mode of introduction
into this class; and instructs the diligent craftsman how to proceed in the
proper arrangement of the ceremonies, which enables him to judge of their
importance, and convinces him of the necessity of adhering to the established
usages of the Order. Here he is entrusted with particular tests, to prove his
title to the privileges of this degree, and satisfactory reasons are given for
their origin. Many duties which cement in the firmest union will-informed
brethren, are illustrated; and an opportunity is given to make such advances in
masonry as must always distinguish the abilities of able craftsmen.
This Section recapitulates the ceremony of initiation, and contains many
important particulars with which no officer of a lodge should be unacquainted.
Charge at Initiation into the Second Degree *
Being advanced to the Second Degree we congratulate you on your preferment.
[The internal, and not the external, qualifications of a man, are what masonry
regards. As you increase in knowledge, you will improve in social intercourse.
It is unnecessary to recapitulate the duties which, as a mason, you are bound
to discharge; or enlarge on the necessity of a strict adherence to them, as your
own experience must have established their value. It may be sufficient to
observe, that] Your past behaviour and regular deportment have merited the
honour which we have conferred; and in your new character, it is expected that
you will conform to the principles of the Order, and steadily persevere in the
practice of every commendable virtue.
The study of the liberal arts [that valuable branch of education, which tends
so effectually to polish and adorn the mind] is earnestly recommended to your
consideration; especially the science of geometry, which is established as the
basis of our Art. [Geometry, or Masonry, originally synonymous terms, being
divine and moral nature, is enriched with the most useful knowledge; while it
proves the wonderful properties of nature, it demonstrates the more important
truths of morality.]
As the solemnity of our ceremonies requires a serious deportment, you are to
be particularly attentive to your behaviour in our regular assemblies; you are
to preserve our ancient usages and customs sacred and inviolable; and you are to
induce others, by your example, to hold them in veneration.
The laws and regulations of the Order you are strenuously to support and
maintain. You are not to palliate, or aggravate, the offences of your brethren;
but, in the decision of every trespass against our rules, judge with candour,
admonish with friendship, and reprehend with justice.
As a craftsman, in our private assemblies you may offer your sentiments and
opinions on such subjects as are regularly introduced in the Lecture. By this
privilege you may improve your intellectual powers; qualify yourself to become
an useful member of society; and, like a skilful brother, strive to excel in
every thing that is good and great.
[ * All regular signs an summonses, given
and received, you are duly to honour, and punctually to obey; inasmuch as they
consist with our professed principles. You are to supply the wants, and relieve
the necessities, of your brethren, to the utmost of your power and ability: and
you are on no account to wrong them, or see them wronged; but apprise them of
approaching danger, and view their interest as inseparable from your own.
Such is the nature of your engagements as a craftsman; and to these duties
you are bound by the most sacred ties.]
The Second Section
The Second Section of this Degree presents an ample field for the man of
genius to perambulate. It cursorily specifies the particular classes of the
Order, and explains the requisite qualifications for preferment in each. In the
explanation of our usages, many remarks are introduced, equally useful to the
experienced artist and the sage moralist. The various operations of the mind are
demonstrated, as far as they will admit of elucidation, and a fund of extensive
science is explored throughout. Here we find employment for leisure hours, trace
science from its original source, and, drawing the attention to the sum of
perfection, contemplate with admiration on the wonderful works of the Creator.
Geometry is displayed, with all its powers and properties; and, in the
disquisition of this science, the mind is filled with pleasure and delight. Such
is the latitude of this Section, that the most judicious may fail in an attempt
to explain it, as the rational powers are exerted to their utmost stretch, in
illustration the beauties of nature, and demonstrating the more important truths
As the orders of architecture come under consideration in this Section, a
brief description of them nay not be improper.
By order in architecture, is meant a system of all the members, proportions,
and ornaments of columns and pilasters; or, it is a regular arrangement of the
projecting parts of a building, which, united with those of a column, form a
beautiful, perfect, and complete whole. Order in architecture may be traced from
the first formation of society. When the rigour of seasons obliged men to
contrive shelter from the inclemency of the weather, we learn hat they first
planted trees on end, and then laid others across, to support a covering. The
bands which connected those trees at top and bottom, are said to have suggested
the idea of the base and capital of pillars; and from this simple hint
originally proceeded the more improved art of architecture.
The five orders are thus classed: the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and
The Tuscan is the most simple and solid of the five orders. It was
invented in Tuscany, whence it derives its name. Its column is seven diameters
high; and its capital, base, and entablature have but few mouldings. The
simplicity of construction of this column renders it eligible where solidity is
the chief object, and where ornament would be superfluous.
The Doric order, which is plain and natural, is the most ancient, and
was invented by the Greeks. Its column is eight diameters high, and has seldom
any ornaments on base or capital, except mouldings; though the frieze is
distinguished by triglyphs and metopes, and the triglyphs compose the ornaments
of the frieze. The solid composition of this order gives it a preference, in
structures where strength and a noble simplicity are chiefly required.
The Doric is the best proportioned of all the orders. The several parts of
which it is composed are founded on the natural position of solid bodies. In its
first invention it was more simple than in its present state. In aftertimes,
when it began to be adorned, it gained the name of Doric; for when it was
constructed in its primitive and simple form, the name of Tuscan was conferred
on it. Hence the Tuscan precedes the Doric in rank, on account of its
resemblance to that pillar in its original state.
The Ionic bears a kind of mean proportion between the more solid and
delicate orders. Its column is nine diameters high; its capital is adorned with
volutes, and its cornice has denticles. There is both delicacy and ingenuity
displayed in this pillar; the invention of which is attributed to the Ionians,
as the famous temple of Diana at Ephefus was of this order. It is said to have
been formed after the model of an agreeable young woman, of an elegant shape,
dressed in her hair; as a contrast to the Doric order, which was formed after
that of a strong robust man.
The Corinthian, the richest of the five orders, is deemed a
master-piece of art, and was invented at Corinth by Callimachus. Its column is
ten diameters high, and its capital is adorned with two rows of leaves, and
eight volutes, which sustain the abacus. The frieze is ornamented with curious
devices, the cornice with denticles and modillions. This order is used in
stately and superb structures.
Callimachus is said to have taken the hint of the capital of this pillar from
the following remarkable circumstance. Accidentally passing by the tomb of a
young lady, he perceived a basket of toys, covered with a tile placed over an
acan, but root, having been left there by her nurse. As the branches grew up,
they encompassed the basket, till, arriving at the tile, they met with an
obstruction, and bent downwards. Callimachus, struck with the object, set about
imitating the figure; the vase of the capital he made to represent the basket;
the abacus, the tile; and the volute, the bending leaves.
The Composite is compounded of the other orders, and was contrived by
the Romans. Its capital has the two rows of leaves of the Corinthian, and the
volutes of the Ionic. Its column has the quarter-round as the Tuscan and Doric
orders, is ten diameters high, and its cornice has denticles or simple
modillions. This pillar is generally found in buildings where strength,
elegance, and beauty are united.
The original orders of architecture, revered by masons, are no more than
three, the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. To these the
Romans have added two, the Tuscan, which they made plainer than the Doric; and
the Composite, which was more ornamental, if not more beautiful, than the
Corinthian. The first three orders alone, however, shew invention and particular
character, and essentially differ from each other: the two others have nothing
but what is borrowed, and differ only accidentally; the Tuscan is the Doric in
its earliest state; and the Composite is the Corinthian enriched with the Ionic.
To the Greeks, and not the Romans, we are indebted for what is great, judicious,
and distinct in architecture.
These observations are intended to induce the industrious craftsman to pursue
his researches into the rise and progress of architecture, by consulting the
works of learned writers professedly upon the subject.
An analysis of the human faculties is also given in this Section, in which
the five external senses particularly claim attention.
When these topics are proposed in our assemblies, we are not confined to any
peculiar mode of explanation; but every brother is at liberty to offer his
sentiments under proper restrictions. The following thoughts on this important
branch of learning may, however, be useful.
The senses we are to consider as the gifts of Nature, and the primary
regulators of our active powers; as by them alone we are conscious of the
distance, nature, and properties of external objects. Reason, properly employed,
confirms the documents of Nature, which are always true and wholesome: she
distinguishes the good from the bad; rejects the last with modesty, adheres to
the first with reverence.
The objects of human knowledge are innumerable; the channels by which this
knowledge are innumerable; the channels by which this knowledge is conveyed, are
few. Among these, the perception of external things by the senses, and the
information we receive from human testimony, are not the least considerable; the
analogy between them is obvious. In the testimony of Nature given by the senses,
as well as in human testimony given by information, things are signified y
signs. In one as well as the other, the mind, either by original principles or
by custom, passes from the sign to the conception and belief of the thing
signified. The signs in the natural language, as well as the signs in our
original perceptions, have the same signification in all climates and nations,
and the skill of interpreting them is not acquired, but innate.
Having made these observations, we shall proceed to give a brief description
of the five senses.
Hearing is that sense by which we distinguish sounds, and are capable
of enjoying all the agreeable charms of music. By it we are enabled to enjoy the
pleasures of society, and reciprocally to communicate to each other, our
thoughts and intentions, our purposes and desires; while our reason is capable
of exerting its utmost power and energy.
The wise and beneficent Author of Nature intended, by the formation of this
sense, that we should be social creatures, and receive the greatest and most
important part of our knowledge by the information of others. For these purposes
we are endowed with Hearing, that by a proper exertion of our rational powers,
our happiness may be complete.
Seeing is that sense by which we distinguish objects, and in an
instant of time, without change of place or situation, view armies in battle
array, figures of the most stately structures, and all the agreeable variety
displayed in the landscape of nature. By this sense we find our way in the
pathless ocean, traverse the globe of earth, determine its figure and
dimensions, and delineate any region or quarter of it. By it we measure the
planetary orbs, and make new discoveries in the sphere of the fixed stars. Nay
more ; by it we perceive the tempers and dispositions, the passions and
affections, of our fellow-creatures, when they wish most to conceal them, so
that though the tongue might be taught to lie and dissemble, the countenance
would display the hypocrisy to the discerning eye. In fine, the rays of light,
which administer to this sense, are the most astonishing parts of the inanimate
creation, and render the eye a peculiar object of admiration.
Of all the faculties, sight is the noblest. The structure of the eye, and its
appurtenances, evince the admirable contrivance of Nature for performing all its
various external and internal motions; while the variety displayed in the eyes
of different animals, suited to their several ways of life, clearly demonstrates
this organ to be the master-piece of Natures work.
Feeling is that sense by which we distinguish the different qualities
of bodies; such as heat and cold, hardness and softness, roughness and
smoothness, figure, solidity, motion, and extension; which, by means of certain
corresponding sensations of touch, are presented to the mind as real external
qualities, and the conception or belief of them is invariably connected with
those corresponding sensations, by an original principle of human nature, which
far transcends our inquiry.
All knowledge beyond our original perceptions is got by experience. The
constancy of Nature's laws connects the sign with the thing signified, and we
rely on the continuance of that connection which experience hath discovered.
These three senses, hearing, seeing, and feeling, are
deemed peculiarly essential among masons.
Smelling is that sense by which we distinguish odours, which convey
different impressions to the mind. Animal and vegetable bodies, and indeed most
other bodies, continually send forth effluvia of vast subtlety, as well in the
state of life and growth, as in the state of fermentation and putrefaction. The
volatile particles probably repel each other, and scatter themselves in the air,
till they meet with other bodies to which they bear a chemical affinity, with
which they unite, and form new concretes. These effluvia being drawn into the
nostrils along with the air, are the means by which all bodies are smelled.
Hence it is evident, there is a manifest appearance of design in the great
Creator's having planted the organ of smell in the inside of that canal, through
which the air continually passes in respiration.
Tasting enables us to make a proper distinction in the choice of our
food. The organ of this sense guards the entrance of the alimentary canal, as
that of smell guards the entrance of the canal for respiration. From the
situation of these organs, it is plain that they were intended by Nature to
distinguish wholesome food from that which is nauseous. Every thing that enters
into the stomach must undergo the scrutiny of Tasting, and by it we are capable
of discerning the changes which the same body undergoes in the different
compositions of art, cookery, chemistry, pharmacy, &c.
Smelling and Tasting are inseparably connected, and it is by the unnatural
kind of life men commonly lead in society, that these senses are rendered less
fit to perform their natural offices.
Through the medium of the senses we are enabled to form just and accurate
notions of the operations of Nature; and when we reflect on the means by which
the senses are gratified, we become conscious of the existence of bodies, and
attend to them, till they are rendered familiar objects of thought.
To understand and analize the operations of the mind, is an attempt in which
the most judicious may fail. All we know is, that the senses are the channels of
communication to the mind, which is ultimately affected by their operation; and
when the mind is diseased, every sense loses its virtue. The fabric of the mind,
as well as that of the body, is curious and wonderful; the faculties of the one
are adapted to their several ends with equal wisdom, and no less propriety, than
the organs of the other. The inconceivable wisdom of an Almighty Being is
displayed in the structure of the mind, which extends its power over every
branch of science; and is therefore a theme peculiarly worthy of attention. In
the arts and sciences which have least connection with the mind, its faculties
are still the engines which we must employ; the better we understand their
nature and use, their defects and disorders, we shall apply them with the
greater success. In the noblest arts, the mind is the subject upon which we
Wise men agree, that there is but one way to the knowledge of Nature's works
- the way of observation and experiment. By our constitution we have a strong
propensity to trace particular facts and observations to general rules, and to
apply those rules to account for other effects, or to direct us in the
production of them. This procedure of the understanding is familiar in the
common affairs of life, and is the means by which every real discovery in
philosophy is made.
On the mind all our knowledge must depend; it therefore constitutes a proper
subject for the investigation of masons. Although by anatomical dissection and
observation we may become acquainted with the body, it is by the anatomy of the
mind alone we can discover its powers and principles.
To sum up the whole of this transcendent measure of God's bounty to man, we
may add, that memory, imagination, taste, reasoning, moral perception, and all
the active powers of the soul, present such a vast and boundless field for
philosophical disquisition, as far exceeds human inquiry, and are peculiar
mysteries, known only to Nature, and to Nature's God, to whom all are indebted
for creation, preservation, and every blessing they enjoy.
From this theme we proceed to illustrate the moral advantages of Geometry.
Geometry is the first and noblest of sciences, and the basis on which the
superstructure of free-masonry is erected.
The contemplation of this science in a moral and comprehensive view, fills
the mind with rapture. To the true Geometrician, the regions of matter with
which he is surrounded, afford ample scope for his admiration, while they open a
sublime field for his inquiry and disquisition.
Every particle of matter on which he treads, every blade of grass which
covers the field, every flower which blows, and every insect which wings its way
in the bounds of expanded space, proves the existence of a first cause, and
yields pleasure to the intelligent mind.
The symmetry, beauty, and order displayed in the various parts of animate and
inanimate creation, is a pleasing and delightful theme, and naturally leads to
the source whence the whole is derived. When we bring within the focus of the
eye the variegated carpet of the terrestrial creation, and survey the progress
of the vegetative system, our admiration is justly excited. Every plant which
grows, every flower that displays its beauties or breathes its sweets, affords
instruction and delight. When we extend our vies to the animal creation, and
contemplate the varied clothing of every species, we are equally struck with
astonishment! and when we trace the lines of geometry drawn by the divine pencil
in the beautiful plumage of the feathered tribe, how exalted is our conception
of the heavenly work! The admirable structure of plants and animals, and the
infinite number of fibres and vessels which runs though the whole, with the apt
disposition of one part to another, is a perpetual subject of study to the
Geometrician, who, while he adverts to the changes which all undergo in their
progress to maturity, is lost in rapture and veneration of the great cause which
governs the system.
When he descends into the bowels of the earth, and explores the kingdom of
ores, minerals, and fossils, he finds the same instances of divine wisdom and
goodness displayed in their formation and structure; every gem and pebble
proclaims the handywork of an Almighty Creator.
When he surveys the watery element, and directs his attention to the wonders
of the deep, with all the inhabitants of the mighty ocean, he perceives emblems
of the fame supreme intelligence. The scales of the largest whale, as well as
the penciled shell of the meanest fry, equally yield a theme for this
contemplation, on which he fondly dwells, while the symmetry of their formation,
and the delicacy of the tints, evince the wisdom of the Divine Artist.
When he exalts his view to the more noble and elevated parts of Nature, and
surveys the celestial orbs, how much greater is his astonishment! If, on the
principles of geometry and true philosophy, he contemplate the sun, the moon,
the stars, the whole concave of heaven, his pride will be humbled while he is
lost in awful admiration. The immense magnitude of those bodies, the regularity
and rapidity of their motions, and the inconceivable extent of space through
which they move, are equally inconceivable; and as far as they exceed human
comprehension, baffle his most daring ambition, while, lost in the immensity of
the theme, he sinks into his primitive insignificance.
By geometry, therefore, we may curiously trace Nature, through her various
windings, to her most concealed recesses. By it, we may discover the power, the
wisdom, and the goodness of the grand Artificer of the universe, and view with
delight the proportions which connect this vast machine. By it, we may discover
how the planets move in their different orbits, and demonstrate their various
revolutions. By it, we may account for the return of seasons, and the variety of
scenes which each season displays to the discerning eye. Numberless worlds are
around us, all framed by the same Divine Artist, which roll through the vast
expanse, and are all conducted by the same unerring laws of Nature.
A survey of Nature, and the observation of her beautiful proportions, first
determined man to imitate the divine plan, and study symmetry and order. This
gave rise to societies, and birth to every useful art. the architect began to
design, and the plans which he laid down, improved by experience and time,
produced works which have been the admiration of every age.
The Third Section
The Third Section of this degree has recourse to
the origin of the institution, and views masonry under two denominations,
operative and speculative. These are separately considered, and the principles
on which both are founded, particularly explained. Their affinity is pointed
out, by allegorical figures, and typical representations. Here the rise of our
government, or division into lasses, is examined; the disposition of our rulers,
supreme and subordinate, is traced; and reasons are assigned for the
establishment of several of our present practices. The progress made in
architecture, particularly in the reign of Solomon, is remarked; the number of
artists employed in building the temple of Jerusalem, and the privileges which
they enjoyed, are specified; the period stipulated for regarding merit is fixed,
and the inimitable moral to which that circumstance alludes, explained; the
creation of the world is described, and many particulars recited, all of which
have been carefully preserved among masons, and transmitted from one age to
another by oral tradition. In short, this Section contains a store of valuable
knowledge, founded on reason and sacred record, both entertaining and
instructive. The whole operates powerfully in enforcing the veneration due to
We can afford little assistance by writing to the industrious mason in this
Section, as it can only be acquired by oral communication: for an explanation,
however, of the connection between operative and speculative masonry, we refer
him to the Fourth Section of Book 1, page 9.
As many of the particulars in this Section have a reference to the temple of
Jerusalem, we shall here insert the Invocation of Solomon at the Dedication of
And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord, in
the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands;
O Lord God, there is no god like unto thee, in heaven above, or in the earth
beneath; who keepest covenant, and shewest mercy, unto thy servants; who walk
before thee with all their hearts.
Let thy Word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto David, my father.
Let all the people of the earth know, that the Lord is God; and that there is
Let all the people of the earth know thy Name; and fear thee.
Let all the people of the earth know, that I have built this house, and
consecrated it to thy Name.
But, will God indeed dwell upon the earth? Behold - the heaven, and heaven of
heavens, cannot contain thee; how much less this house, which I have built:
Yet, I have respect unto my prayer, and to my supplication, and hearken unto
May thine eyes be open, toward this house, by day and by night; even toward
the place, of which thou hast said, My Name shall be there!
And when thy servant, and thy people Israel, shall pray toward this house,
hearken to their supplication; hear thou them in heaven, thy dwelling-place; and
when thou hearest, forgive!
And the Lord answered, and said, I have hollowed the house which thou hast
built, to put my Name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be
And all the people, answered, and said - The Lord is gracious, and his mercy
endureth for ever.
The Fourth Section
The Fourth and last Section of this Degree is no
less replete with useful instruction. Circumstances of great importance to the
fraternity are here particularised, and many traditional tenets and customs
confirmed by sacred and profane record. The celestial and terrestrial gloves are
considered with a minute accuracy; and here the accomplished gentleman may
display his talents to advantage, in the elucidation of the sciences, which are
classed in a regular arrangement. The stimulus to preferment, and the mode of
rewarding merit, are pointed out; the marks of distinction which were conferred
on tour ancient brethren as the reward of excellence, explained; and the duties,
as well as privileges, of the first branch of their male offspring, defined.
This Section also contains many curious observations on the validity of our
forms, and concludes with the most powerful incentives to the practice of piety
As the seven liberal arts and sciences are illustrated in this Section, it
may not be improper to give a short explanation of them.
Grammar teaches the proper arrangement of words, according to the idiom or
dialect of any particular people; and that excellency of pronunciation, which
enables us to speak or write a language with accuracy, agreeably to reason, an
Rhetoric teaches us to speak copiously and fluently on any subject, not
merely with propriety, but with all the advantages of force and elegance; wisely
contriving to captivate the hearer by strength of argument and beauty of
expression, whether it be to entreat or exhort, to admonish or applaud.
Logic teaches us to guide our reason discretionally in the general knowledge
of things, and direct our inquiries after truth. It consists of a regular train
of argument, whence we infer, deduce, and conclude, according to certain
premises laid down, admitted, or granted; and in it are employed, the faculties
of conceiving, judging, reasoning, and disposing; which are naturally led on
from one gradation to another, till the point in question is finally determined.
Arithmetic teaches the powers and properties of numbers, which is variously
effected, by letters, tables, figures, and instruments. By this art, reasons and
demonstrations are given, for finding out any certain number, whole relation or
affinity to others is already known.
Geometry treats of the powers and properties of magnitudes in general, where
length, breadth, and thickness are considered. By this science, the architect is
enabled to construct his plans; the general to arrange his soldiers; the
engineer to mark out ground for encampments; the geographer to give us the
dimensions of the world; to delineate the extent of seas, and specify the
divisions of empires, kingdoms, and provinces; and by it the astronomer is
enabled to make his observations, and fix the duration of times and seasons,
years and cycles. In fine, geometry is the foundation of architecture, and the
root of the mathematics.
Music teaches the art of forming concords, so as to compose delightful
harmony, by a proportional arrangement of acute, grave, and mixed sounds. This
art, by a series of experiments, is reduced to a science, with respect to tones,
and the intervals of sound only. It inquires into the nature of concords and
discords, and enables us to find out the proportion between them by numbers.
Astronomy is that art, by which we are taught to read the wonderful works of
the almighty Creator, in those sacred pages the celestial hemisphere. Assisted
by astronomy, we can observe the motions, measure the distances, comprehend the
magnitudes, and calculate the periods and eclipses, of the heavenly bodies. By
it, we learn the use of the globes, the system of the world, and the primary law
of nature. While we are employed in the study of this science, we must perceive
unparalleled instances of wisdom and goodness, and, through the whole of
creation, trace the glorious Author by his works.
The doctrine of the Spheres is included in the science of astronomy, and
particularly considered in this section.
The globes are two artificial spherical bodies, on the convex surface of
which are represented the countries, seas, and various parts of the earth, the
face of the heavens, the planetary revolutions, and other important particulars.
The sphere, with the parts of the earth delineated on its surface, is called the
terrestrial globe; and that with the constellations, and other heavenly bodies,
the celestial globe. Their principal use, beside serving as maps to distinguish
the outward parts of the earth, and the situation of the fixed stars, is to
illustrate and explain the phenomena arising from the annual revolution, and the
diurnal rotation, of the earth round its own axis. They are the noblest
instruments for giving the most distinct idea of any problem or proposition, as
well as for enabling us to solve it. Contemplating these bodies, we are inspired
with a due reverence for the Deity and his works, and are induced to apply with
diligence and attention to astronomy, geography, navigation, and the arts
dependent on them, by which society has been so much benefited.
Thus end the different Sections of the Second Lecture, which, with the
ceremony used at the opening and closing the Lodge, comprehend the whole of the
Second Degree of Masonry. Beside a complete theory of philosophy and physics,
this Lecture contains a regular system of science, demonstrated on the clearest
principles, and established on the firmest foundation.
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